Species & Habitats
Activity 13 - Report on the pine hoverfly and its habitat
Background for teachers
The pine hoverfly is an endangered species, which has declined dramatically over the last 100 years. In the British Isles only two populations are currently known and both are in Strathspey. It is dependent on old Scots pine trees in native pinewoods or in old plantations which provide excellent habitats for many species of rare insect. The pine hoverfly needs large old pine stumps within which it lays its eggs but due to tree felling in the past such large old trees are now rare. Today widespread efforts are being made to restore these woods and to allow trees to grow old without disturbance.
Control and Regulation: the need to monitor wild populations; protection and conservation of endangered species
Managing Environmental Resources Higher
Investigating Ecosystems: human activities – their effect on ecosystems and strategies for improvement.
Curriculum for Excellence
This activity will help pupils achieve the four capacities of learning by:
- encouraging enthusiasm and motivation for learning;
- encouraging openness to new thinking and ideas;
- use of literacy skills;
- use of technology for learning;
- thinking creatively and independently;
- making reasoned evaluations;
- evaluating environmental issues;
- applying critical thinking in new contexts, and
- creating and developing.
16-18 years [language level of most of the resource material is probably too high for the majority of younger pupils]
Ask pupils to write a scientific report about the pine hoverfly and its Caledonian pinewood habitat.
In their report pupils should include:
- an introduction to hoverflies;
- a description of the pine hoverfly;
- the pine hoverfly’s habitat and special needs;
- what has been done to increase the species’ numbers;
- a description of Caledonian pinewoods;
- how the extent of these woods has changed in Britain since the last Ice Age;
- current efforts to restore the Caledonian pinewoods; and
- some other species for which these woods are important.
- a distribution map of the pine hoverfly is available on the National Biodiversity Network gateway.
- Pine hoverfly
- Introduction to hoverflies
- Caledonian pinewood and Scots pine
- National Biodiversity Network gateway